A Kind of Circle

by Jim Bryce

LIVING THROUGH THE METAPHORS: Flung out of the womb like a third-world refugee. Looking for an image that feels like me. Modify my feelings to connect with your roles. Building on your fears and making them my goals. Flung out of free space into your cuboid world. Froming my opinions out of what you've told me. Damping down my fire 'cause your world is too hot. Building up my "is" from your "not". Oh! I asked you to tell me, I begged you to tell me. It's just I didn't know your words. I was a new-born innocent without a language. I cried you for love, I cried you for joy and you smothered me in your beliefs. I cried you for Life and you gave me picture to carry through your cinema and make me live only through your metaphors. On the edge of existence like a traitor and a spy, reviewing all the factors that make me lie. I've tested all you told me but you reasons don't compute. The world you planted in me got no roots. SUSIE: Susie's sitting by the fire at midnight, flames in her eyes. Tears kiss her lips no matter how she tries. Susie's wondering, as sleep slinks out the door. She seems unsure. "Daddy, why do ghosts and spirits haunt me so?" Susie, I'll take you to a castle where the flowers lie dreaming, to a wonderful land. I'll take you to a meadow where the river's gleaming, to the waves and the sands. Susie's snoozing in a room where only queens have lain before with gold and silver playthings at her door. Susie's running to a diamond river glistening in her dream, where unicorns and lovebirds drown her screams.
Daddy wouldn't buy me a sun. You know, he said he would. He promised he would buy me a solo hat to make my eyes shine in the dark. Daddy wouldn't buy me a Tyrannosaurus Rex cause he said it'd hurt, buy my friend Johnny's had one since he was small and it sleeps in front of the fire. My daddy doesn't like the mess my spaceman makes when he comes off the moon, but he doesn't say to much to me 'cause he knows I can't start playing too soon to enjoy myself. Daddy wouldn't buy me a cigarette machine cause he said I'd die, but when he's not looking I play football by the river in Winter when the snow is dry. Daddy wouldn't buy me a bag of moonshine cause he said it'd hurt, but when he's not there I look in the mirror and see myself. My daddy is sad when he gets home at night and kicks off his shoes. His Cinderella has gone, the sunset has set and it don't appear to arise again in the morning. I love my daddy. My daddy ain't got no more flowers in the garden in the spring and my daddy's greenhouse windows have lost their whitewash cause the rain took it off and I feel sorry cause, daddy, my little doggie ran away. I've got to leave home. I've got to find him.
16 02:40
I'm 8 years old. I like Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones. I'm going to get a guitar, going to be a big star when I'm a man. I've got a pal called Mick. My mother doesn't like him, tries to keep him away. Oh, you can't make big folk understand at all! Mick's just 16 and to celebrate, we're going to buy a bottle of wine, gonna have great time on the railway line - him and me. He's going to bring his girlfriend. He says he doesn't really like her but she's good for a screw. I can hardly wait till I am 16 too. How I wish that I were sweet 16.
Little Dulcinea, she's the belle of Battersea, the high-school Juliet. When she gets home on Fridays, she puts on a new face for the local disco, and to the rhythm of a radio, she squeezes on her denims to emphasise her womanhood, and, as she trims her figure neatly, her mirror smiles on sweetly as it always should. Oh, she's cool and collected. she picks up her handbag and butterflies off down the street to the dancing Dominion with wolf-whistles snapping around her feet. Yes, she 's could and collected. She smiles at the doorman as the smoke lingers round her perfume. The world is her milk-shake: a floozy-froth sweet-tasting disco tune. So our little Cinderella turn to see her fella on the near-virgin dance-floor, and each acned Aphrodite pulls her puppy-fat in tightly to draw his favours, and in the coca-cola atmosphere, she wills his body nearer to offer him her crown. Her heart says "I love you! Won't you take me, baby, take me?" but her eyes look down. But he's cool and collected, he draw on his cigarette and looks through her with hardly a word, for Love feeds on action - not half-muttered phrases - It's too absurd! Yes, he's cool and collected. He calls to his mates and walks past her with hardly a glance. She stands alone on the floor and suddenly, all the world starts to dance. But she's cool and collected. She stands by the bar and sips her stale lager-shandy once more. Smiles sweetly, "No thank you. My lover is coming - of that I'm sure." Yes, she's cool and collected. She picks up her handbag and slowly walks out to the street. The air hits her face. Her eyes start to water, but so discreet.
London Song 02:03
One o'clock in the morning and she's sitting on her own. She pulls the feather sheets around her and listens for the turning key. Two o'clock in the morning and she wipes away the tears that washed the hope and love she knew when daddy gave his little girl away. He walks securely through the pale rooms - discos and basement bars. Ah-ah! He mustn't go too far. She never realises how things really are. Four o'clock in the morning and she's really quite serene. She scans the photos that he picked up from some glossy Sunday magazine. Five o'clock in the morning as she sits by a dying fire. She warms her body with a silent sigh and fortifies another day. He pours a glass for his compadré he will touch and love no more. Oh-oh! He lets his makeup grow. Exactly what he feels now she will never know. Nine o'clock in the morning and she's waiting. Already waiting.....
Now 02:09
You are delightful in my eyes. You are a light to me. You are the light in me. You are like the sun, like the river in a twilight breeze, like a breath, a whisper, a sigh. There is nothing here inside me but this being here with you, this moment which is you.
Celebration 09:54
A church spire, the hour before noon.A voice singing wartime ditties in the other room.The beer gets slowly staler with every drunken tune And there’s no room. Another round of good-luck, another whispered sigh, a door that won’t stay open as the day begins to die,and the juke-box plays a song about a love that never diesand no surprise - you’d thought you’d try. I offer you suicide, matricide.The bride awaits you with tinsel in your hand.Touch her fingers, there’s no more wishing in your plans. Take her hand. Oh, take her hand ! Inside the vestibule, you stop to catch the tunes and the feeling comes upon you that you felt inside the room,but all your forgotten teachers saying ” Now’s no time for gloom ! You’ve been groomed ! You don’t believe it ? You’ve been groomed !” The simpering smile, the sugared leaf, the slow handclap of acceptence now you’ve signed away your brief, but the stilettos of habit for the moment all are sheathed and it’s relief - it’s such relief. I offer you love, endless promises. You take her by the hand down to your tinsel lovers’ land and for the moment, all your fantasies - those childish flames you’ve fanned - they’ve been banned. From now, they’ll talk about innocence, the bright pretense. There’s no defence: “It’s a hard world,” they will say, but as they kiss your future, their eyes are turned away, but still they pray. Christ, they always pray ! The empty cup. The tainted wine, A youngster singing something ‘bout “the good old times” and the lines of faces nodding saying “That’s the the way it was” Because.....Because..... I offer you suicide, homicide. The death’s head behind the veil mouths hallowed empty sounds, and in your heart you turn your love and promises around but you’ve been bound I offer you conquest, inquest. The guests surround you with truth burning in their hands. All answers now are set and you survey your promised land but you feel damned - why is it you feel damned ? Are you listening now ? Are you watching now? Passing round the photographs and asking yourself how you could deceive yourself by saying “face it anyhow” And do you now ? I offer you grace, a change of face. All traces broken if you’re not afraid to die. You salve your wounds with your consciences, but still you want to cry, but you can’t cry. The silent bells, the empty bed. You try to listen to the moment, but the future turns your head, so you stumble throught the corridors to face you only dread: You’ve been bled. The moment missed, all movement feared. The endless sidesteps circling smaller through the years Till your spirit stands immobilised: no travellers come near And there’s no tears. There’s no more tears.
At the Last 03:02
Let me wrap my body round you. Let me shipwreck in your thighs. Let me touch your silver hair and brush it from your greying eyes. In a world of gums, it gets so hard to raise a morning smile. Will you still walk with me along this final mile? Let me touch you with the memory of a time when life was clear, of one smiling blue-eyed morning when I realised that you were here. Let me take to to the window, watch the rain awhile and sigh for the days before the Summer sun lay down to die. Christ knows what you're thinking now, though I've seen your thoughts a thousand times. Perhaps it wasn't you I loved but someone in my twisted mind. Though there are times when I've wished you dead ... I'm afraid it's true .... if I had my days to live again, I'd want to live them all with you. In a world of twilight, it gets so hard to raise a morning smile. will you still walk with me along this final mile?
Ward 05:29
It is seven. You walk slowly from the garden through whitewashed hallway. A face nods. A door is opened. Expectantly, you scan the besides. "How's the patient been today? Any improvement at all?" "As well as can be...." "Thanks. Thanks." Oh, but I wish we were at home instead of waiting here for you. Oh, but I wish I were alone, instead of.... Seven-fifteen, nothing spoken. Her eyes gaze through a tear-stained window. A face modest, unassuming, as you take her hand. "How's my lady been today? Is she feeling better now?" "Oh yes I'm feeling fine. I'm managing." Why won't you fight for me? "Yes, I'm sure she's going to make it." Seven-thirty, we walk to the door. "Yes, I'm sure she's much much better. Be no time before she's back again. Oh yes, she's fighting well. Whatever they're doing's working fine. Oh yes, she's fighting well, whatever they're doing.
Yer song 04:13
Slipping into dreams at night and wishing I were somewhere ... anywhere but what's been found a what's been given, I think back to the people I have been, the people seen and all the twisted thoughts uncertainty has driven us to; and this time, like all other times, the future slips away into another voice which talks in yesterdays, but this time, unlike other times, there's noone to call the tune. It's so much clearer now your life has slipped away. Oh John! I need you here beside me! You're the beginning and the ending that I tried do hard to find. You're the content and the context that I tried to leave behind. You're the one true piece of knowledge that I'd banished from my mind and I wouldn't be here today without your being. Sweet mystery of life, I get so tired. There's a crazy sort of progress... so-called progress... that we make, recreating the mistakes we've made so many times before, but thinking to the times when I rejected all you stood for, seems to me I know you better than I thought I did before; for those times, like all other times, our likeness called the tune. We were so close we wouldn't give nay quarter, but this time, unlike other times, there's no-one to call the tune. It's so much clearer now your life has gone. And looking from my window now, I see you as you are in every bush, in every tree, in every sunset, every star, for every action that you did creates anew, and in this moment, there is peace. At last. Peace be with you.
Track 13 01:58
This body is composed of atoms born in stars, molecules, cells, tissues and organs. It is a union of uncountable viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. It is conditioned by families and societies, by thoughts and dreams. It is moulded by sun and gravity and the whole of the ecosphere. It is an inter-being of all these processes from micro ro macro. Wondrous! Transient! May it teach me wisdom!
Breathing 04:40
When I leave you, don't try to remember my name. Just believe that the singer may change, but the song remains the same inside you, no matter time or the tide, for these changes are leaves in wind, and what is change but just a form of breathing? When you leave me, don't even turn back to see if it grieves me. Joy is the call. It returns eventually in each moment no matter the time or the tide, for this grieving is one tear in the sea. And what are tears but just a form of breathing? I don't know who we are and where this all came from. You're so easy tome with, easy to love, easy to lose the world together. When we waken, we'll return to the lives that we knew before this faking - the stories we've told to those who thought us true, and our moments will be the breath an old memory, and our love a whisper in time. And what is love but just a form of breathing?


A journey from the womb to the tomb.. .from whispers to shouts...abstract to fine art...an album of many contrasts with a thread of brilliant song writing sewing the stories together


released November 24, 2020

Jim Bryce-vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass.
Graeme Mearns-drums
Produced by Gerry Callaghan for Moreme.


all rights reserved



Jim Bryce Edinburgh, UK

Jim Bryce's music ranges from rockish to folkish to jazzish to music-hallish, to material which doesn't tick any boxes. He has also written for theatre, concert hall (squeaky and non- squeaky), film and radio programmes for the under nines.

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